1. Dang it.
2. I’ll start by saying that I did not get to watch the game in realtime so I opted to pay the $30 to get an NFL Game Rewind membership. I sat down to watch the game later on Sunday and got an error message that the content would be unavailable until after MNF. So, Game Rewind is a great idea but it suffers from the same problem that the entire NFL suffers from – being dominated by an antiquated, broadcast-pandering mindset.
3. The main reason I bought the Game Rewind membership was because I had perused the game thread. Anything that bad I figured I had to see for myself. I mean, if you can’t be a good football team you might as well be an “entertaining” football team, right? Why merely suck when you can Steelers-without-Ben-Roethelisberger Suck.
4. I must say I was disappointed. This game wasn’t near the trainwreck it was promoted to be by some of the more excitable board members.
5. The Steelers could have won this game if they turned in a solid C performance. They came in with more of a D+. I’d give the defense an A, offense an F, special teams a D and coaching a C.
6. I had mentioned last weekthat the Ravens beat the Steelers in a win that feels more like a loss. If the Steelers had managed to win this game they would likely have felt that way about it. I would love the opportunity to feel bad about this game rather than just feeling numb. As fans we can comfort ourselves all day long with the idea that the Ravens are troubled by the results of their beating the Steelers but the Ravens fans will rightfully point out: they won. Be it thanks to referee collusion or not the Ravens are winning games that the Steelers are losing.
7. So whose fault was it? Who is to blame for the loss? How about, good-old fashioned, cruel fate? Injuries and not being able to catch a break.
8. The obvious place to start criticizing is the running backs. They started this turnover-fest. The coaches only made matters worse but they can hardly be blamed for this terrible, terrible game.
9. Was Batch terrible? He was … rusty. Viewed objectively I have a hard time criticizing anything Batch did. He clearly took the field with every intention of executing the obvious gameplan that any coaching staff would have assembled in this scenario. You’ll notice that Batch handed he ball off well, made it a point to find Heath Miller and took some (albeit terrible underthrown) shots downfield. Batch’s biggest sins were looking rusty (third string quarterbacks tend to do that) and throwing picks – which he was only doing because … well ... hell, why not?!
10. I mean … <tick> …. has it EVER happened in NFL history that EVERY running back on the ENTIREFREAKING ROSTER not only gets a chance to fumble in a game but actually DOES SO?!
11. WTF?!?!?!I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. WHAT THE HELL WAS TOMLIN THINKING?!
Interior day … Mike Tomlin enters the “game plan” room at the Steelers offices.
Tomlin: Duuuhhhh … Hey guys, put those away we have work to do … Who knows how long I need to thaw a frozen 30 pound duck? Don’t worry about the game plan. I figure that the thing that makes the most sense is to take the one potential remaining strength of this offense and mitigate it by making it as inconsistent as possible. If we can just rotate out all four running backs all day long that should guarantee our inability to be consistent. Being consistently inconsistent is a KIND of consistency right?</Steeler Theater>
Haley: 30 pound duck? That’s stupid, you were supposed to buy a turkey, right? I mean, that’s what I always heard about Thanksgiving meals anyway …
Lebeau: Back in my day we had to hunt the turkeyosaurus with our bare hands with onions tied to our belts …
Tomlin: Wait, what about this idea … what if Rainey would horsey-back ride on Mendenhall … does that count as one player or two?
12. Now, was the coaching staff wrong in their assessment that a potential strength of this offensive unit (or what’s left of it) was the running game? Not at all. They just misdiagnosed WHY it is perceived as such all of a sudden.
13. Pro-tip: it was not because of the great offensive line. It is because of Haley’s use of Heath and Ben.
14. BTW, did you notice the Bengals beating the crap out of the Raiders? But hey, doesn’t everyone beat the crap out of the Raiders?
15. I appreciated the effort of Clark, Keisel, Miller, Batch, Sanders and Harrison. Shout-out to Worilds whose sack of Weeden kept the Browns points off of turnovers under TWENTY.
16. The Steelers put the ball on the ground 11 times and threw what, 3 picks? How the hell were they even IN this game?!
17. Has this team lost to the Baguars yet? No? But I did notice that the Jags were beating the hell out of the Titans .. but hey, who doesn’t beat the hell out of the Titans, right? I mean, they suck as bad as the Raiders.
18. Interesting to note that this defensive unit has had trouble generating turnovers the last two years. Also not hard to see why when Taylor had his hands on two passes and Allen had his hands on another and neither managed to catch the dang ball.
19. On one of the Browns first plays from scrimmage on offense … Weeden dropped back and was promptly sacked by James Harrison blitzing right up the gut. What struck me most about the play was the offhanded manner that Harrison completed it. There was no showboating or dancing. He stood up, turned around and waited for the ball to be spotted. I loved it.
20. Solomon Wilcots was speaking about the youth of the browns early in the game and said the following, “They need to learn how to close out games, particularly when they are leading.” Which, when you think about it, is an important distinction.
21. Perspective: The Browns had one penalty in the first half. In the second half their inability to run an offensive play without a penalty was rivaling that of the team they were playing. Down the stretch, the Browns were trying to give this game to the Steelers. The Steelers were unable to take it. There is no other interpretation.